PO 3D prints shields for frontline staff at Royal Darwin Hospital

When Petty Officer Matthew Teis heard of a 12-month delay in delivering face shields to medical staff at the Royal Darwin Hospital’s emergency department, he was quick to act.

CAPTION: Petty Officer Matthew Teis has been awarded the 2021 Chief of Navy Excellence in Innovation Award for his 3D printed face shields.

The electronic technician used his experience to design and manufacture 150 face shields using the 3D printer at Navy’s Fleet Support Unit-North and his personal equipment to ensure staff had additional protection against COVID-19.

A trial by hospital staff reported they were able to wear them for entire shifts within the building’s COVID-19 isolation area – a feat previously not achieved because of masks being uncomfortable.

His proactive thinking and designs earned Petty Officer Teis the 2021 Chief of Navy Excellence in Innovation Award, which recognises individuals and groups within Navy who have displayed quality, creativity, leadership, initiative and accountability.

It aims to solidify a culture of innovation and encourage natural talent to deliver practical innovation.

“This was a huge surprise. All I was trying to do was figure out useful ways to use my toys at work,” Petty Officer Teis said.

As the senior systems maintainer for his unit, Petty Officer Teis has designed and developed a number of items on the unit’s 3D plastic printer to improve the storage of sensitive and fragile items.

It has resulted in cost savings and improved productivity for the Fleet Support Unit – North.

Warfare Innovation Navy Deputy Director Commander Steve Thompson said there were a record number of entrants in this year’s awards.

“Competition was as strong as it ever has been and the high level of submissions was extremely encouraging to see,” Commander Thompson said.

“The quality, creativity and initiative displayed was exceptional.”

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